Getting ready to ride starts with your usual wakeup routine. Dress, pack your things, catch breakfast and get your gear out to one of our vans.
One van goes directly to the day's destination. Your bag of personal luggage goes in that van. Your ditty bag is a much smaller bag that contains things you may want available to you on the ride. Gear for rain, hot and cold weather, medications, comfy shoes for lunch or stops, that sort of thing. Load that bag into the roving van. Limited access to that bag exists as the roving van sweeps the day's segment.
Most often, breakfast will be at the hotel. One one day we will ride a very short distance to breakfast. If lunch is to spec, you will need to complete your lunch order form prior to launch.
Once all that is behind us, it is time for the cue sheet and the pre ride briefing. With almost no turns, a cue sheet is almost redundent, but it will let you know how close the next break is and where we will have lunch. With mileposts along the parkway and your daily cue sheet you will know exactly where you are without a GPS.
The pre-ride briefing will cover elements important to that particular day. Weather, tunnels, traffic, park service directives, safety issues, reminders, all of that in 5 minutes or so. On four of the days you will hear a lot about eating and drinking. Every day will hammer safety issues.
From there we ride!
An Awesome Week on a Bicycle!
Someone will be at every mandatory break where you sign in, refill fluids and snack. Every time. Most mandatory rest stops include a rest room, but not all. Keep tabs on rest room availability, but do not hesitate to eat and drink! Breaks are spaced farther apart on downhill segments than they are on uphill segments. If you are working, you are sweating whether it pools on your skin or not. Keep drinking, and don't forget the electrolytes.
Bike in groups of at least three. The first day might require some sorting, this is not a race, but it is easier to ride with folks at about the same ability. Three's are for safety reasons. Nobody is left alone. If you choose to make optional stops, all three of you stop together.
A roving van will bounce between the lead group and the last group. Depending upon what we have to deal with, flats, bonks, etc, the roving van may be seen frequently or quite some time may pass. To flag down a roving van, tap the top of your helmet.
No drafting or racing along the way. Three exceptions will be provided. Climbing time trials. There are three sections where you can log out of a rest area and start hammering up hill. Check in at the end of the segment and you have a shot at bragging rights!
On reaching our daily destination, you'll likely want to shower and change. Someone will be there to greet you. Your room may already be opened and your gear inside. Park your bike and start the process of relaxing and recharging! If the group is not too spread out, we will have one group dinner. If the group spreads out, we may have to break into shifts. Eventually settle in for a well deserved rest.